Ok, I admit it. I have fallen hopelessly in love. No, don’t worry, I am not leaving my adorable husband. This love affair is with ‘Nawlins, my friends. And what better day to blog about it from the rooftops, if you will, than on Fat Tuesday? So for this week, Time to Cry Tuesday will be replaced with No Time, in celebration of Mardi Gras.
If you have been following along here at i could cry, you would know that I have become quite infatuated with all things New Orleans. Hating to be cliché and ride the post-Superbowl wave, but timing is everything. At the same time that the Saints took center stage I visited The Big Easy for the first time. And I am still trying to figure out how I could live 50(ouch) years without ever visiting a place that is so aligned with my essence.
The season of New Orleans has come, and who deserves it more. The spirit of the place has survived one of the worst natural disasters on American soil, and it still comes bubbling up, sticking it’s tongue out with a big wide drunken grin screaming ‘ain’t nobody gonna beat dem Saints – who dat, who dat!”
When we visited, the streets could spontaneously break out into song and a turn down a little alleyway could bring us upon the most spectacularly off beat gallery. A place truly built on art and music, this town is irreverent, ballsy, and quirky. And even better, it seems to not put all that much value on botox, brands or bank accounts. Um, does this sound like anyone to you guys? Are you starting to see the resemblance?
This past Saturday night we had a blast at the 4th Annual Nolafunk Mardi Gras Ball at Le Poissin Rouge on Bleeker Street. We went to see Bonerama perform but loved Tab Benoit as well. I am sure Big Sam’s Funky Nation was just as– well – funky, but a few hours of 95° heat, dancing, singing and crowds was enough for us.
I stood near the stage with those horns blowing, behind the world’s oldest hippie, the costumed characters marching through the crowds, feeling like this mass of humanity was one big living breathing party organism and it was impossible to not fall madly in love. Somewhere around the second chorus of Aiko I lost my voice and could not care less.
The thing about the New Orleans culture is that it is all-inclusive. The crowd at this show was not one of posers, or rockers, blues guys or jazz aficianodos, these people were not skinny or fat, young or old… this was a crowd of EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. There is something about that music that brings everyone together in one place for one reason and one reason only – to have an amazing time. To love life even when it sucks. To get out there and feel the joy of the music no matter what your troubles are when you leave. Not just survivors, but more soldiers of feel good.
I suppose if I were asked what city I would most want to be, I might just have to say New Orleans.